The DA has asked President Ramaphosa to apologize for a statement he made in 2018. In a statement, Ramaphosa said that there are “no murders of farmers – white farmers in South Africa”.
The remark caused a stir at the time and the dust about it just does not want to settle completely.
“As the official opposition, we now ask you to put the matter to rest once and for all. In 2018, when you made the allegation, 54 farmers and farm workers were brutally murdered on South African farms and smallholdings. There were 394 brutal attacks, “said Dianne Kohler Barnard, the DA’s spokesperson on state security.
Farmers (black and white), farm workers (black and white) and visitors to farms (black and white) were killed and are still killed today. The killings are often accompanied by the most brutal torture of farmers and their workers, their parents, their wives and their children. What you said then was untrue. “
Ramaphosa told the National Council of Provinces about ten months before the impugned statement that the government condemned murders on farms and that they should be stopped. The DA says it is uncertain why Ramaphosa would deny it just a few months later.
Kohler Barnard says farm dwellers are let down year after year.
“This year, during the isolation period, we saw a huge increase in attacks on farms and smallholdings when the government stopped the patrol system that farm owners had set up themselves in an attempt to keep their families safe.
“In April there were 17 attacks and one murder. “In May there were 19 attacks and four murders and last month there were 56 attacks and seven murders – so 12 murders and 88 attacks in these three months alone.”
According to Kohler Barnard, farmers today still say they feel insulted and hurt by the president’s denial of the attacks because they are simply not true.
“It is believed that your remarks have given some characters in our country the courage to openly demand that those who work on farms be tortured to death.”
The DA has previously called for a national debate to discuss the issue and work together to find a solution to the spate of killings and attacks.
“Your remark still cuts as deep today as in 2018 and at a time when children are being shot in their beds, a pregnant woman’s throat is cut off in front of her screaming children and while a man is being chopped up with a panga, we ask that you statement retract.
“Not only do we ask that you withdraw it, but also that you apologize to the men and women in rural areas who live in fear while still working 24 hours a day and seven days a week to feed the country. .
“Only then will they begin to feel like valued members of this strategic asset in our country as they work day and night to feed our great country.”